One unique aspect of TikTok is its messaging system, which allows users to privately message each other within the app. However, in order to start messaging someone, they first have to accept your message request.
TikTok limits the number of unaccepted message requests you can send to 3 per user. Once you hit that limit, you will see the notification “You can send up to 3 messages until this user accepts your message request.” This is TikTok’s way of preventing spam and unwanted messages.
In this long-form blog post, we’ll take an in-depth look at TikTok’s messaging system, the “3 message limit”, and some tips for connecting with other users on TikTok.
Overview of Messaging on TikTok
TikTok has a built-in direct messaging system that allows you to privately chat with other users. It works similarly to direct messaging on other social platforms like Instagram, Snapchat, or Twitter.
To start a new message thread, go to a user’s profile and tap the paper airplane icon next to the “Follow” button. This will open up a messaging window where you can type out your message.
The user will get a notification that you sent them a message. They then have the option to accept your message request, which will open up ongoing messaging between you two. Or, they can ignore the request, which means you won’t be able to message them anymore.
Once a messaging thread is started between two users, it will remain in both users’ inboxes until one person chooses to block the other.
The “3 Message Limit” Before Accepting Requests
Here is how the “3 message limit” works on TikTok when trying to message someone new:
- You go to a user’s profile and tap the paper airplane icon to send them an initial message.
- If they don’t accept your message request, you can send up to 2 more messages.
- Once you’ve sent 3 unaccepted messages, you’ll get the notification “You can send up to 3 messages until this user accepts your message request.”
- At this point, you can’t send any more messages until they accept your request and officially start the messaging thread.
- If they never accept the request, you will be permanently unable to message them from your account.
Essentially, this limit prevents users from spamming others with endless unwanted messages before getting accepted. It forces you to be more selective in who you message and thoughtful in your approach.
Conversely, when you are the recipient, the other person’s “account can send you up to 3 messages before you accept.”
So once you hit that 3 message cap, it becomes crucial that your initial messages were intriguing or valuable enough that the user feels inclined to accept and engage in further conversation with you.
Tips for Messaging Users & Getting Accepted on TikTok
Here are some tips to improve your chances of getting your TikTok message requests accepted and developing meaningful messaging relationships:
1. Message Users Who You Have Genuine Reasons to Connect With
Don’t randomly mass message TikTok users or accounts that have no relevance to you. Make sure you share common interests, relate to their content, or have a specific purpose for reaching out.
For example, don’t message a comedian just to say “You’re funny!” Explain that you also do comedy and suggest collaborating on a funny video idea.
The more thoughtful and personalized your messaging rationale, the better chance you have of getting a response.
2. Make Your Initial Messages Warm and Personable
Your first message request sets the tone for whether someone will engage. So avoid coming off as robotic, overly salesy, or impersonal.
Show your human side and send an intro message that’s friendly, casual, and thoughtfully worded. Share a quick personal anecdote of how you discovered them or relate to their content.
This makes you seem more approachable and less likely to be a spam bot.
3. Provide Value From the Start
Rather than just introducing yourself, try providing some clear value in your first few messages.
For example, you could:
- Compliment a specific video of theirs and explain what you admired about it.
- Share an interesting idea for a collaboration.
- Politely offer constructive feedback on something they could improve.
- Send them a useful tip, resource, or contact that would help their business or content strategy.
When you lead with value, it gives the user an incentive to open your message and continue the conversation.
4. Keep Your Initial Messages Concise
While you want to provide value upfront, avoid huge walls of text right off the bat before you get accepted.
Send short and sweet intro messages that get straight to the point and hook the viewer. You can dive deeper into conversations once you get accepted.
For example, briefly explain you’re another comedian interested in collaborating, versus providing your full comedy background and a list of video ideas. Keep it simple until they reciprocate interest.
5. Pay Attention to Your Timing
Think about when the user is most likely to be actively on TikTok and able to respond to messages.
For example, messaging on Friday or Saturday night may be ignored until Monday. But Sunday afternoons may get better engagement.
Pay attention to times when that user is posting new content and presumably on TikTok. Increase your chances by messaging during their active windows.
6. Be Patient and Persistent (Within Reason)
Not every message request will get accepted right away, if at all. Be prepared to not get a quick response, or even get ignored completely. Don’t take it personally.
If you haven’t heard back after a few days, consider sending a short follow up message with another thoughtful value-add, like:
- Sharing a useful update related to their content niche
- Recommending an interesting new TikTok sound they could use
- Replying with an insightful comment about their recent videos
However, don’t become a pest by messaging endlessly if they keep ignoring you. Take the hint and move on if your attempts clearly aren’t gaining any traction.
7. Analyze Your Messaging Patterns
Pay attention to the type of message requests and opening lines that consistently get you accepted versus ignored.
For example, maybe introductions focused on collaboration work better for you than complimenting their content right away.
Use these insights to refine your messaging strategy over time.
Messaging Best Practices to Keep Conversations Going
Once you successfully get your message request accepted, here are some tips for keeping the messaging conversations active, engaging, and substantive:
1. Ask Good Questions
One of the best ways to further a conversation is by asking thoughtful questions that continue the dialogue.
Follow up on something they mentioned previously that you can ask more about. Or if the conversation stalls, pose a new question related to their interests.
This shows you’re listening, keeps the discussion flowing, and allows you to get to know them better.
2. Discuss Video Ideas and Collaborations
If your end goals include collaborating on video content together, organically move the conversation towards potential video ideas you could work on.
Get their thoughts on what types of concepts would resonate best with both of your audiences and fit your creative styles. Share ideas back and forth and work towards finding something you’re both excited about.
3. Make Plans to Meet Up In Real Life (If Appropriate)
Messaging is great, but actually spending time together in person can take your relationship to the next level.
If you both live nearby or will be traveling to the same place soon, suggest meeting up for coffee, a bite to eat, or hanging out to brainstorm more video ideas.
Don’t force it if the timing doesn’t feel right yet though. Let the meet up happen naturally whenever you’re both comfortable with it.
4. Avoid One-Word Responses
Conversations die when you continually respond with short one-word answers like “nice” “cool” or “okay.”
Make an effort to provide thoughtful, substantive responses that continue driving the conversation forward.
Share personal anecdotes when relevant, ask follow up questions, add your own color commentary – give them something meaty to respond back to.
5. Pick Up on Cues To Change Topics
If the other person seems disengaged on a certain topic, take the hint and pivot the conversation elsewhere.
For example, if their responses shorten after asking about their pets, they may not want to discuss that anymore. Try switching gears to a new topic or creative idea instead.
6. Give Them Time to Respond
Not everyone is glued to their TikTok messages 24/7. Have patience if they take a while to respond or can’t message back immediately.
They have their own lives and schedules. Allow some flexibility in response times, especially if you want the conversation to continue long-term.
7. Maintain Tone and Boundaries
Make sure the conversation tone remains friendly and respectful on both sides. Don’t take messaging into inappropriate or uncomfortable territory.
Remember conversations are easily screenshotted. So if you wouldn’t want it posted publicly, don’t send it over TikTok messaging.
Potential Reasons Your Messages Get Ignored
There are a variety of reasons TikTok users may ignore your message requests, including:
- Too many messages already: Popular accounts get bombarded with messages daily. Yours may have gotten lost in their overflowing inboxes.
- Poorly worded messages: Vague, impersonal, overly salesy first messages often go ignored.
- Creepiness: Any inappropriate advances or overly flirtatious messages will most likely get ignored.
- Spam suspicions: Messages with links or strange content may raise red flags for spam.
- Incompatible interests: If you have very little in common there may be no incentive to engage.
- Private accounts: Some users only accept requests from people they already know in real life.
- Banned words: Your message may have been automatically flagged if it contained banned terminology.
- Timing issues: You messaged at an inconvenient time when they were unlikely to respond.
- Too many existing conversations: People can only actively maintain so many messaging conversations at once.
So in summary, don’t take non-responses personally. Just reflect on how you can craft better quality, more personalized requests next time that demonstrate shared interests and values.
Troubleshooting Tips If Someone Won’t Respond
If you’re positive a TikTok user has seen your message requests but won’t accept or respond, here are some troubleshooting tips:
- Send one last follow up with an offer to provide high value. For example, offer to promote their content or collaborate on a video.
- Engage more with their content by commenting, dueting, stitching, etc. Increase familiarity before trying to message again later.
- Wait and message again later. Give it a few weeks or months then try messaging again with improved techniques.
- Move on. As frustrating as it is, not everyone will reciprocate interest. Refocus energy on other creators more likely to respond.
- Request they resend a message. There’s a chance your original messages went to a hidden requests folder. Ask them to resend whatever you originally said.
- Double check for blocks. There’s a small possibility you could be blocked without realizing it, preventing messages. Use a different account to check.
Ultimately though, persistent messaging will come across as irritating or desperate if they already ignored multiple requests. Know when continuing efforts just aren’t worth it anymore.
Signs It’s Time to Stop Messaging Someone
When is it time to stop messaging a TikTok user and move on? Here are some signs:
- You’ve sent the allowed 3 unaccepted messages without a response.
- They accepted your message but stopped replying or gave disinterested one-word responses.
- They have explicitly asked you to stop messaging them.
- They’ve blocked you or reported your account for harassment.
- The conversation is clearly going nowhere and they show no interest in chatting.
- You’ve creeped them out by oversharing or acting inappropriately.
- Weeks and months have gone by since your last message exchange.
- Messaging them causes you more stress and anxiety than happiness.
Essentially, if the messaging relationship feels one-sided, your efforts are being ignored, or communications have completely stalled – it’s a sign to politely move on.
TikTok’s “3 message limit” before a user must accept your request is designed to prevent spam and harassment. While it can feel restrictive, it ultimately pushes users to be more selective and personal with their outreach.
The best way to get your messages accepted is by messaging users you genuinely connect with, leading with value, showing personality, and demonstrating shared interests. Once accepted, keep conversations going by actively engaging, asking questions, discussing ideas, and respecting boundaries.
But not every message will get reciprocated, and that’s okay. Use any non-responses as learning experiences for how to refine your messaging strategy. With the right technique and effort, TikTok messaging can lead to substantive relationships that take your experience on the platform to the next level.